How to Plan a Small Bathroom
Many of us live with small bathrooms, which can make it a challenge to accommodate all the fixtures and fittings we need. But small bathrooms can function well; the key to success is good planning, which will result in a layout that best utilises the available space.
In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why the average bathroom has become so much smaller, then we’ll consider the key design choices that can overcome the problems this creates.
The Changing Face of the British Bathroom
Bathrooms aren’t getting any bigger! There are a few different reasons for this – some apply nationally, while others are especially relevant to bathrooms in Barnsley.
On the national side, there has been a downward shift in the size of rooms generally over the last 30-40 years. Homes built in the 1960s and 1970s often feature large, light rooms, while many built since the 1980s feature smaller rooms. This shift began after a change in legislation, but the rising price of development land has made the situation more extreme.
More locally, there’s another reason why the average Barnsley bathroom is shrinking! Many of the traditional, stone-built terraces in our town originally featured downstairs bathrooms, but homeowners and developers are increasingly moving these upstairs – often ‘borrowing’ space from a bedroom to achieve this. The inevitable result is a small bathroom.
How Do You Use Your Bathroom?
When you plan a small bathroom, it’s best to begin by thinking about how you’ll use the space. Key questions to ask yourself include:
Do I Need a Bath, a Shower – or Both?
The decision between installing a bath and a shower has a big impact on the amount of space required. Clearly, a shower is a logical space-saving option, but also one which is less child friendly. In some cases, plumbing-in a shower can present more complexities, since a pump may be required to achieve acceptable water pressure.
How Many People Will Use the Room at Once?
If your bathroom is often used by more than one person, then optimising the layout becomes even more vital. The morning dash for the bathroom could be eased by considering options like his-and-hers sinks – but only if space permits.
How Much Storage is Required?
Most of us need to store a certain number of items in our bathrooms – cosmetics needn’t take up too much space, but towels, cleaning products and toilet rolls also need to be considered.
Planning a Small Bathroom
Having identified how you use your bathroom, you’re ready to move onto the planning stage. Ideally, the fixtures and the storage options should both be considered together, in order to make the best use of all the space on offer.
Fixtures and Fittings
Keep in mind that modern bathroom fixtures are available in sizes other than standard. The manufacturers have woken up to the fact that many customers are struggling with small bathrooms, so today, slimline showers, small basins, and shorter baths are all available. This allows for much greater flexibility when choosing where to position your bathroom fixtures.
Made-to-Measure Bathroom Units
The mistake many people make is to neglect storage. Far from being an optional extra, good storage makes a small bathroom more functional and easier to use. Vanity units, floor cupboards and wall cupboards all offer excellent storage options, but standard-sized choices may not suit a small bathroom. Instead, it makes sense to opt for bespoke bathroom furniture, and benefit from made-to-measure bathroom units that will integrate more cleanly into the space available.
By paying careful attention to detail, even the smallest of bathrooms can become an attractive and relaxing haven; a room to shower in and prepare yourself for the day ahead, or enjoy a relaxing soak, come the evening.